The 2016 Aussie Racing Car Series got off to a fast and furious start, with a very full and busy grid. The series returned to the Clipsal 500 after being away for a year, and the large crowd loved it!
The ARC class had almost double the number of entries compared to any other class at the event, 37 of the pocket rockets took to the tight concrete lined Parklands circuit and by the end of the weekend 37 cars were still running, a feat no other class could match!
The Aussie Racing Cars were first on to the track early on Thursday morning, in true street circuit tradition the track was very dusty and dirty with little to no traction for the drivers. The dust was so bad that at turn one it was almost impossible to see where you were heading or where the brake markers where. This soon cleared and the times started to tumble.
The weekend had been touted as one of the hottest Clipsals’ on record and that turned out to be true, each of the Aussie Racing Car sessions saw temperatures above 30°C, even for the morning races.
The 2016 seasons has welcomed more than a dozen Rookies to the field and everyone of them proved worthy of being on the grid with them all managing to avoid the seasoned regulars coming through, and in many cases having great dices with the more experienced drivers. The class now has drivers from 14 years of age to lets say a few over 50’s drivers, and everyone was mixing it up well.
Aussie racing cars without a doubt are a star attraction at any event and again they didn’t fail to put on a show at Clipsal, every race saw cars 4 or 5 wide into many of the corners, and whilst an ARC car doesn’t have door handles they still managed to race the proverbial door handle to door handle and more!
Parc ferme or the Pits had two large marquees to house all of the teams cars and equipment, “with the 37 cars there wasn’t a lot of space left, we had each car and team assigned a space, it looked fantastic and was perfectly setup for the public to stroll through and intertrac with the teams” said Brad Ward after the weekend.
A street circuit is always going to have some attrition and Clipsal was no different, but the class can boast that all the cars managed to start every race over the weekend, no other class at the event could say the same, even the V8Supercars. Whilst there was the odd knocked around car, the teams and crews all band together to help each other get back on the track.
The Rookies were helped by the regular experienced teams to race and to improve times and finishing positions, “we have a great bunch of competitors in the Aussie Racing Cars, it’s very much like a big family where the older more experienced teams are will to help out the new comers, it’s one reason why the class is so popular” said Ward.
This weekend also kicked off the new ARC Teams Championships, there are 7 teams fighting it out for the new Trophy and the $7000 prize money.
The second round is at Phillip Island 15-17 April, this round has traditionally been in November so we are expecting some much cooler weather! We hope to see all our fans join us for round two.
1 Craig Woods (NSW) Ford Mustang – 8:56.4676
2 Brendon Pingel (QLD) Holden Cruze – 8:57.7190
3 James Duckworth (NSW) Nissan Altima – 8:58.6507
1 Brendon Pingel (QLD) Holden Cruze – 11:07.8322
2 Craig Woods (NSW) Ford Mustang – 11:08.1889
3 Ben Walsh (QLD) Holden Cruze – 11:11.9677
1 Chris Stevenson (VIC) Nissan Altima – 10:12.3140
2 Grant Thompson (NSW) Ford Mustang – 10:12.9583
3 Harley Haber (NSW) Ford Mustang – 10:13.2589
1 Brendon Pingel (QLD) Holden Cruze – 11:00.7921
2 Craig Woods (NSW) Ford Mustang – 11:01.7627
3 James Duckworth (NSW) Nissan Altima – 11:02.2455
1st Brendon Pingel
2nd Craig Woods
3rd James Duckworth
1st Brendon Tucker
2nd Glenn McNamara
3rd Jeff Watters
1st Grant Ludbey
2nd Ben Walsh
3rd Grant Thompson
1st Luke Fraser
2nd Harley haber
3rd Kel Treseder